ThriveCart vs SamCart: Which Is Better For You? (2021)
Find out whether ThriveCart is better than SamCart or not Below!
Table Of Contents
Today, I’ll be comparing 2 of the most popular shopping cart platforms in the market. If you’re looking to create checkout pages and sales funnels for the purchase process itself, then these 2 are among the best options you have.
However, they’re not exactly the same. Each one has its own set of features, advantages, disadvantages, and—naturally—price. Today, we’ll assess all of those factors to help you dictate which solution is the right one for your business.
Shopping carts and checkouts are very important, and it’s curious how many entrepreneurs neglect this aspect. Sure, SEO, products and content are critical for success, but that doesn’t mean checkouts are less important.
So, let’s begin.
SamCart: overview and features
SamCart is a shopping cart tool that you can use to create checkout pages to promote your product and make it easy for everyone to buy from you. Since its release back in 2014, it has grown to help thousands of businesses make over $700 millions in sales around the world.
The main advantage with SamCart is its optimized templates for your checkout pages, combined with single-click upsells and bumps. You also get additional features, including subscriptions and different payment plans for more versatility.
SamCart has managed to remain as a favorite among countless business owners, and it’s helped set the standard for how these types of platforms should work.
It works a lot better when it comes to selling digital products, such as eBooks, online courses and memberships. That doesn’t mean it’s not good for selling physical items, but it’s definitely not its main strength.
A nice addition to SamCart is the ability to offer your customers to pay whatever they want, which is great for boosting sales for lower cost products.
Order bumps and upsells
SamCart comes with single-click upsells you can use to boost the overall value on individual orders. When used correctly, upsells can do wonders for your profitability, and it offers a comfortable way for customers to find additional products they might like.
It’s also great for retaining customers, too.
Order bumps also let you showcase additional offers for the main purchase. Naturally, this is great for digital products since you can seamlessly create complementary offers for almost all of your products.
You can also use it to sell membership upgrades or “pro” versions of the original product.
Both bumps and upsells are excellent for increasing how much money you make on every sale, and it can increase your overall revenue quite dramatically in the long run.
A/B testing is also fully available for your upsells and order bumps.
Offering different ways to pay for a product can also help you a lot to increase customer retention and overall income down the line. SamCart knows this, and it comes with lots of variety in payment options.
You can offer single payments, installments, subscriptions, and the mentioned “name your price” feature. It’s excellent to ensure your customers always have the chance to buy from you.
Trials and discounts
This is one of the main reasons why SamCart excels at selling digital products. You can offer trial versions of your products to all of your customers. These can be free, limited and even paid depending on your own preference.
Besides, you can also generate discount coupons without integrating other apps. This is a great way to get more sales while rewarding loyal customers, and you have plenty of features to create any coupon you want.
You can also implement single-page checkouts for all of your products. The most interesting aspect of this feature is that you can essentially create a single-page funnel for your products.
When used properly, you can effectively make your checkout pages a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. You have all the tools to do so as well: custom closing, product images, testimonial, product guarantees, and more.
Finally, you can create entire affiliate programs for all of your products. In case you don’t know, it basically lets you hire people to take care of your marketing in exchange of a commission on every sale they generate.
SamCart has everything to help you recruit and keep track of all your affiliates with barely any effort. You get an intuitive but comprehensive dashboard with all the stats you need, so you’ll know exactly how your affiliates are performing.
You get access to custom reports for pretty much every important metric: sales, refunds, conversions, visits, and profits, among a few others. Said dashboard also displays your split-testing results.
ThriveCart: overview and features
ThriveCart is also a very intuitive shopping cart app, and it was released just a year after SamCart. Since its release, it has gained countless users, especially among eCommerce entrepreneurs and educational ventures.
It’s safe to say it’s been just as influential as SamCart over the industry, and it comes from one of the most beloved digital marketing companies in recent times.
Similar to SamCart, ThriveCart is also mostly praised for its ability to sell digital products, with plenty of features optimized for this purpose. However, it’s a common recommendation by eCommerce entrepreneurs, so it’s just as good for selling physical products.
One advantage it has over SamCart is its single fee. You don’t need to worry about monthly subscriptions, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
ThriveCart automates different tasks within your checkout process depending on how your visitors behave. For instance, ThriveCart takes care of notifying all visitors whenever they abandon their carts or miss a subscription payment.
The same goes for notifying your users whenever a monthly payment is near and even when their cards are about to expire.
You can also use these behavioral rules to keep track of your affiliate commissions and modify them depending on refunds and other metrics.
ThriveCart also lets you offer various payment options for your users. It’s very similar to SamCart, and it even comes with the option to pay their own prices.
You can create single fees and let your customers pay it all at once or split them into different installments. Subscriptions are also fully featured. After all payments, ThriveCart sends the corresponding receipt to your customers.
You can integrate ThriveCart with several platforms, but the most notable inclusion is Apple Pay, an integration that makes ThriveCart quite unique.|
Bumps and upsells
Again, you’re free to offer additional products to your customers once they’re paying for their main purchase. They’re then free to add these new products if they want, and they don’t even need to leave the current page or enter their payment information again.
You also get the same single-click upsell feature from SamCart, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on any sales-boosting advantage. A/B testing is also fully functional for these complementary sales as well as different variations of your entire checkout page.
ThriveCart gives you a default page, but you don’t have to stick to this. You can even order a custom page that’s made according to your brand.
Other complementary sales include downsells, discount coupons, and even order bumps like subscription upgrades.
ThriveCart comes with plenty of templates for your checkouts, and you’re free to edit them. You get 4 different template types depending on the element you’re creating: embeddable checkouts, pop-ups and both single and 2-step checkouts.
The only problem with the templates is that they’re quite limited. It’s very unlikely, but you might get the feel that you have to stick with one that you don’t really like now and then.
Unfortunately, ThriveCart doesn’t offer customer support via traditional channels like email or live chat. This is definitely a disadvantage against other platforms, but you’re not entirely on your own.
ThriveCart comes with plenty of resources and guides on its knowledge base, and you’ll find tutorials on how to solve virtually any problem you might run into.
If that doesn’t work for you, you can also send a support ticket or contact them via their Facebook page.
ThriveCart also comes with plenty of reporting features, and it goes a bit further than just offering a look into your business’ performance. It’ll even offer suggestions on how to improve these stats.
Other interesting statistics include revenue projections and growth forecasts. I also need to point out its tax calculator, which calculates your sales taxes automatically.
Finally, you can also create affiliate programs for your products as well as recruiting and managing your affiliate marketers. It’s almost the same as SamCart with a different interface.
ThriveCart also comes with plenty of advanced features like reports, ID tracking, and lots more.
Similarities between the two
Page templates make it a lot easier to create your checkouts when you have little experience with design. Both platforms come with optimized templates, and you can also display your checkout pages as pop-ups over the main site.
You can implement custom fields into you checkouts, too. It’s great for users who want to brand their own checkout pages.
Bumps and upsells
Order bumps and upsells let you offer related products to your customers after they already added their purchase to the car, and they’re both perfect for boosting your revenue.
You don’t need to worry about missing this feature regardless of which platform you decide to use. The same goes for discount coupons for your customers.
This one is a huge advantage for both platforms, and I’ve already explained how helpful affiliate marketing is for any business.
With both solutions, you can recruit affiliates and keep track of their performance. They come with a management center just for this purpose, and the dashboard lets you monitor your entire affiliate marketing methods.
You can perform A/B tests regardless of which one you choose, and it can make a pretty large difference in your revenue.
However, each one has a somewhat different approach to split-testing: SamCart lets you test multiple iterations of your order bumps and upsells, whereas ThriveCart lets you test the checkout page itself.
This feature is fairly self-explanatory: you can check how many clicks each one of your links has obtained. It’s a great way to study the overall performance of your marketing efforts.
You can do this with either ThriveCart or SamCart, but there’s a slight difference: you’ll need more than the Basic plan for SamCart, yet ThriveCart comes with link tracking right from the get-go.
Finally, the last similarity we have is that both support custom domains. There’s not much to say here since it’s a fairly primary feature in these types of platforms.
I do need to point out that ThriveCart limits custom domains to their license upgrade—a premium add-on we’ll discuss in the pricing section. SamCart gains a slight edge here since all plans come with this feature; still, it’s not too big of an advantage for reasons we’ll get to in a bit.
Differences between the two
The largest difference—by far—between the two, and the main advantage for ThriveCart, is how they both approach pricing differently. SamCart charges your standard monthly subscription, but ThriveCart gives you lifetime access with a single payment.
This means that ThriveCart is quite more expensive upfront, especially with the Pro add-on. Once that’s done, ThriveCart is a lot less costly in the long run, and it’ll be noticeably cheaper after the first year or a couple of months more.
SamCart is still a very cost-efficient platform, and it’s still among the most affordable—yet valuable—options right now. ThriveCart is a lot better if you’re looking to save money for the long-term, though.
Tax collection is another significant advantage for ThriveCart since it’s part of its sales package. If you go for SamCart, you’ll need to integrate a third-party tool for this purpose, and that’s an additional investment.
ThriveCart’s calculator is just as good as most other solutions, and it takes care of your tax calculations automatically.
For those who don’t know, scarcity refers to transmitting the feeling that an offer is about to end. This triggers what’s called the “fear of missing out”, and it makes customers more likely to buy.
Scarcity timers are usually countdown timers that focus on suggesting this, so it’s a very nice tool to have.
That being said, only ThriveCart comes with scarcity timers. SamCart only offers integration with scarcity apps.
Apply Pay is a relatively new payment processor for online entrepreneurs, and ThriveCart is actually the first shopping cart app that integrates with it. It’s pretty much an advantage over all competitors in general.
Free trials are the industry standard for software products: from eCommerce and business tools all the way to anti-virus platforms, which have been using these for over a decade now.
SamCart comes with your standard free trial: 14 days with zero commitments for all plans.
Interestingly, ThriveCart doesn’t come with one, and I’ll admit I was fairly disappointed by this. They kind of make up for it with a money back guarantee: 30 days, plus help from the ThriveCart team to help you learn and integrate the platform to increase your revenue.
If you’re not satisfied, you can ask for a refund. Still, I can see how this is a big deal for many of you.
This feature shouldn’t make a difference for most users, but larger businesses who want access to the highest-tier plan.
SamCart comes with a dedicated manager on its Enterprise accounts. It’s basically a personal customer support agent; it can help you from technical support all the way to design feedback.
ThriveCart lacks this feature entirely. You could say it offers a workaround since you get a month working directly with a support member, but this is mostly an onboarding process.
Finally, both platforms come with different integrations, and you’ll have to assess each one if you’re planning to keep another business tool.
Integrations are important since they let you add more features to the basic package. However, not all platforms support the same integrations, so it’s important to choose not only one that allows for it, but one that integrates seamlessly.
The list of integrations for both solutions are too massive for me to cover in a single article, but you can always check out their integrations on their main sites. Make sure to consider any future ones you might plan to get.
How much do both platforms cost?
SamCart has 3 pricing plans: Launch, Grow and Scale. There’s also an customizable Enterprise account.
Launch is the basic one, and it costs $49 monthly for a single admin. You get unlimited pages and products as well as custom domains and email customization among other features. Custom fields, upsells, and reports are some of the features missing.
Growth costs $99 monthly, and it comes with 3 admins. It adds all of the missing features from the Launch plan, but it still lacks functionality. You’ll need to upgrade if you want A/B testing, CRM, cart recovery, and affiliate programs.
The Scale account is $199 monthly, and it’s basically the full package, with all features included.
If you need a more customizable plan, you’ll need the Enterprise, which starts at $399 monthly.
As mentioned, ThriveCart is a single payment for lifetime fee, and it comes via a standard license and a Pro add-on.
The Standard license costs $495, and it’s the standard ThriveCart experience. It comes with all features except affiliate marketing, tax calculator, and business projections. If you need more features, you can get the Pro add-on.
Said add-on costs $195, so the full price would be $690. It comes with all the features I just mentioned as well as advanced management features and custom domains.
Both platforms are excellent, and you can’t really go wrong with either of them. With that in mind, I’d say ThriveCart is a better recommendation because of features like tax calculations and scarcity timers. Of course, we can’t ignore its pricing, which makes it a much better choice for the long-term.
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